New entry in the palette of flavors since a sixth should be added to the list. A new flavor that we finally all know since it is a major component of our diet, so researchers have just identified « starch » as a new flavor in its own right.
Until a few years ago, our palate was subject to four primary tastes, which are sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Then, some time ago now, a fifth flavor came to expand this list, namely umami, designating “tasty”. The palette of flavors now welcomes a sixth representative, after researchers discovered that our taste buds recognize « starch » as a flavor in its own right.
Starches are the complex carbohydrates found in pasta, bread, rice or potatoes, all foods that make up a large part of our diet. » All cultures have a major source of complex carbohydrate. The idea that we don’t smell what we eat makes no sense Juyun Lim of the University of Oregon, who conducted the study, told New Scientist magazine. As Slate explains, these complex carbohydrates, like starch, are made up of many long chains of sugar molecules.
This is precisely why we only recognize this flavor now, since for a long time researchers thought that our taste buds reacted to the sweet taste that spreads after saliva has transformed the starch. So these are different carbohydrate solutions that volunteers had to taste during Pr. Lim’s study. All the volunteers detected a particular taste in the solutions containing long and short chain carbohydrates. » They called this flavor “starchy”. Asians would say it tastes like rice, while Caucasians describe it like a taste of pasta or bread. It’s like eating flour adds Prof. Lim.
Even when a compound blocking the taste buds responsible for detecting sweetness was added to the different solutions, the volunteers were still able to experience that taste. » It’s proof that we can smell the starch like a clean flavor continues the professor. Now, we will have to carry out tests to identify the papillary sensors responsible for detecting this taste, before this flavor is fully recognized as a base flavor.